Jessica Chen | Co-Vice President, THIMBY Project Manager

B.A. Sustainable Environmental Design, B.A. Latin

Originally from Boston, MA, Jess came to Berkeley to delve deeper into her passions surrounding sustainability in the built environment. Inspired by the urgency of the climate crisis, Jess has devoted her efforts to seeking ways to both educate about and remediate our environmental impact. Currently, she conducts research surrounding energy consumption and predicting carbon sequestered by tree planting on marginal land. In her free time, Jess loves hiking, running, and knitting fun projects.

John Sita | Solar Decathlon Member

B.A. Architecture, Minor in Landscape Architecture, History

At an early age, John was exposed to the environmental challenges facing the modern world, specifically in regard to sustainability and the need for technological innovation. Using his interest in the built environment, he has decided to pursue a career that creates solutions for these challenges. SHAC is one of the ways he can engage in modern sustainable housing solutions, and he is excited to advance our understanding of the built environment in our upcoming projects! In his free time, he likes to swim, play guitar, and watch sports.

Sage Quinn | Solar Decathlon Member

B.S. Energy Engineering, Minor in Data Science

If it were up to Sage, we would all live in caves in the forest, surviving purely off the land and our own creativity, but humans are a couple thousand years past that. However, developing solutions to integrate the natural world and sustainable living into the built environment is just as exciting and significantly more realistic, progressive, and challenging, and she is eager to explore these solutions both with SHAC and her future career. In addition to cave-dwelling, she also enjoys skiing, biking, surfing, camping, and rocks.

Hanna Ostapchuk | Solar Decathlon Member

B.S. Business Administration

After a half-decade of first-hand experience working in the service and hospitality industries, from a 5-star hotel, fine dining restaurants to fast-food chains, and local coffee shops, Hanna has witnessed the unnecessary overconsumption and environmental injustice that happen in the workplace. She believes that the overconsumption of products and the lack of social responsibility endanger our community and our environment. As the Internal Affairs Event Coordinator of SHAC, she is excited to contribute a positive impact towards a sustainable future.

Patricia Kusumah | Solar Decathlon Member

B.A. Architecture, Minor in City & Regional Planning and Sustainable Design

After interning to work on low-cost housing development in her hometown, Jakarta, for low-income households that are impacted by the rapid urbanization and directly experiencing the consequences of climate change through frequent flooding and sinking of my hometown, Patricia aims to use architecture and design to address contemporary issues relating to climate change and urbanism. Thus, she’s really excited to explore her interests and contribute my effort through future SHAC projects! 

Zhirong Lin | Solar Decathlon Member

M.S. Building Science 

Zhirong is a lighting designer with Stantec and a Masters student in the Building Science and Technology program. As a lighting designer, she has collaborated with different principals in the field to achieve the client’s goals, both in functionality and creativity. In addition, she also expanded her skills in daylighting analysis from LEED- and WELL-standard experience on projects. With her graduate program, she has cultivated her interest in incorporating VR/AR technology in the design process to improve the overall design quality with its strength in an immersive environment. 

Hanna Li | Director of Media, Solar Decathlon Member

B.A. Architecture

Coming to the vibrant, dynamic city of Berkeley from the quiet suburban bubble Hanna grew up in, opened her eyes to social and environmental injustices that are too often overlooked by a vast majority valuing comfort and convenience over ethics and sustainability. Having had the opportunity to witness vernacular and contemporary approaches to the built environment while traveling, Hanna aims to employ architectural design and engineering principles to address our rapidly changing built and natural environments. When she’s not geeking out over houses, Hanna enjoys hiking, making music, creating my own Chopped cooking challenges, and watching wildlife.

Rudi Skowronski | Solar Decathlon Member

B.A. Architecture, Minor in City Planning

From a young age, Rudi has known his ultimate goal in life is to help humanity transition from mass consumption of carbon based energy sources to renewable and equitable growth. He believes architecture has great potential to advance environmental sustainability, social justice, and quality of life. After graduation, Rudi hopes to engage in site-specific design work that responds to cultural, historical, environmental, and social attributes. While not working Rudi enjoys doing art, rowing, backpacking, and playing music.

Ruiji Sun | Solar Decathlon Member

Ph.D Building Science, Technology, and Sustainability

Ruiji is a PhD student in the Building Science, Technology, and Sustainability program at UC Berkeley. He has previously worked as a sustainable architect, HVAC engineer, and BIM data scientist. Since completing his undergraduate degrees, he has founded a furniture startup, which strengthened his belief in improving people’s life qualities by design, technology, and collaboration on interdisciplinary research.

He received a Bachelor of Engineering and a Second Bachelor in Architecture from Xi’an University of Architecture and Technology. He then pursued a Master of Science degree at Carnegie Mellon University, focusing on Building Information Modeling (BIM) and Building Energy Modeling (BEM). In his master thesis, funded by ASHRAE Research Project 1810, he redefined the data mapping rules of gbXML schema in HVAC systems, thus improving the gbXML’s interoperability between BIM to BEM.

His current research focuses on improving personalized thermal comfort and indoor air quality through energy-efficient HVAC systems with advanced predictive control algorithms using BRICK schema.

Yunqi "Eva" Wei | Solar Decathlon Member

M.Arch Architecture

Eva is an architectural designer who persistently explores the possibility to apply her training to the challenges facing society. Before coming to Berkeley, she was leading a renovation project in China, aimed at reactivating public space by adaptive reusing the abandoned garbage house in the community. She is also passionate about the interdisciplinary field between architecture and technology. While pursuing her March degree, she is studying a graduate certificate of data science at the same time, harboring the ambition to seize the initiative on data and technology which can potentially help design response to the social issues and this changing world.

Yuming Xu | Solar Decathlon Member

M.S. Building Science, Technology, and Sustainability

Yuming is a graduate student researcher at CBE and has been working on the California Energy Product Evaluation Hub project to evaluate advanced thermostats’ performance and usability. He is passionate about evaluating advanced integrated HVAC systems and using building energy simulation and smart building technologies to improve both energy performance of buildings and indoor environment quality.

Bryan Huang | Solar Decathlon Member

B.A. Architecture

Long interested in modular and sustainable design, Bryan hopes to be part of the solution in the on-going battle against climate change and the housing crisis. As well, he hopes to incorporate his passion in graphic design and illustration to make every project and the world a more beautiful place. Outside of architecture you can find him either doodling or in the gym.

Xiaodan "April" Zhang | Solar Decathlon Member

B.A. Sustainable Environmental Design, B.A. Data Science, Minor in City Planning

Growing up in inland China, April has witnessed the environmental impacts of unsustainable buildings. She has also been doing volunteer work in Haiti and developed a strong desire to help people in poverty through building design and city planning. By taking related classes and participating in Solar Decathlon, she wishes to educate and raise awareness in her home country about energy efficiency and sustainability, as well as gaining experience for possible future projects to help Haiti and many similar places around the globe build sustainable, affordable, and resilient homes.

Gene Lee | Solar Decathlon Member

B.A. Architecture

Coming from Hong Kong, Gene notices the seriousness of homelessness in the United States. Projects by SHAC discuss aspects like affordability and sustainability in architecture and “make things happen”, unlike the over-emphasis of the importance of theories in some architecture studio courses. Gene loves charcoal drawing, hiking, and photography. He has a strong passion for visual art as well.

Verónica Saldarriaga | Solar Decathlon Member

B.A. Sustainable Environmental Design

Growing up in Costa Rica, Verónica has always had a passion for the environment. For maintaining what we have and adjusting to our environment instead of having our environment adjust to us. As a self-proclaimed nature and outdoors person, Veronica hopes to combine her love for the earth and design to bring sustainable housing to California and beyond. In addition to joining SHAC, Verónica loves everything that involves being active, including running, biking, and hiking.

Nolan Force | Solar Decathlon Member

B.A. Sustainable Environmental Design

Nolan grew up always living in and around nature, and it has always held a special place in his heart. Once he became exposed to the real consequences of human activity with regard to our planet, he knew he had to dedicate himself to trying to fix it. Cities are the centers of human life, and he thinks that creating cities that are in harmony with nature, as well as changing humanity’s mind about how we can live our lives, are how we will save the planet. He hopes SHAC will be the vital first stepping stone in his personal journey to fight climate change and help him fine tune his passion for the environment so that he can make a real difference. When he has free time, Nolan loves climbing trees, backpacking, playing and watching all kinds of sports, and eating food.

Abdoul Aziz Sandotin Coulibaly | THIMBY Member

M.S. Structural Engineering, Mechanics, and Materials

Abdoul Aziz was often left at home in front of the TV to watch the “Megastructures” series on the National Geographic Channel. From the Burj Al Arab in Dubai, to the Millau Viaduct in France; episode after episode, Abdoul Aziz’s curiosity about these structures grew. Looking back now, those episodes were the beginning of his long-standing passion for structural engineering. 

As a Masters student with interest in structural health monitoring, affordable and effective infrastructure, and structural reliability, one side of his endeavors revolves around how African countries can incorporate shipping container architecture and design into local architecture. He believes his involvement in SHAC means taking a step closer to building educational infrastructure, houses for people, and residential halls accessible to African college students in a high throughput, reliable, and affordable way.

Yelena Sukhanov | THIMBY Member

B.S. Mechanical Engineering

Yelena is passionate about engineering low-cost, high-impact solutions that improve the lives of others. She has professional work experience in product development, quality control, and the creative arts.

John Cadiz | THIMBY Member

B.S. Civil & Environmental Engineering

John’s passion is to create a positive legacy that promotes sustainability within cities, businesses and the environment. This is shown through his enthusiasm of wanting to create an environment that is sustainable, beneficial, and safe to human and economic growth. John’s main purpose in pursuing a degree in civil engineering is to provide a voice and an outlet for communities and businesses to actively shape their own future and to create effective  communication which can transcend beyond socioeconomic status and language barriers. Through SHAC, John hopes to promote forward-thinking visions and increase sustainability awareness and access

Mason Heimburger | THIMBY Member

B.A. Architecture

Originally from the mountains of Utah, Mason has always had a deep passion for sustainability and the natural world. When it comes to architecture and design, he hopes to break boundaries between the built and natural world to create better connections between people and the outdoors. He sees architecture as an opportunity to create unique spaces that serve its communities personally and build a more sustainable tomorrow. Now living in the Bay Area, he feels an immediate call to address the homeless population and struggling communities with innovative and purposeful solutions. In addition to serving those around him, he loves getting lost in the mountains, skiing, videography, and laughing!

Victoria Bartoszewicz | THIMBY Member

B.A. Sustainable Environmental Design, B.S. Conservation and Resource Studies

Originally from Chicago, Victoria has always gravitated towards the environmental
design initiatives Cal offers. Believing in the power of design and education, she
facilitates DeCals on sustainable urbanism and sustainable solutions, and is an intern with the group, Building Sustainability @ Cal. Some of her favorite things include the SF
MoMA green wall, small cobblestone streets, and music in different languages.

Eunice Hanaya Gaper | THIMBY Member

B.S. Civil Engineering

Through her experiences of growing up in humble backgrounds and living in rural Hawai’i, Eunice has grown innately passionate for being a creator and helper to others. Having recognized the basic necessity of shelter and the ever-increasing importance of implementing sustainable practices in our lives, she aspires to be of service to the community by building sustainable homes. Eunice is ever so eager to learn all the knowledge and skills she can obtain from SHAC and the THIMBY project, and ultimately being a part of the positive impact the team can make in our community.

Karla Venegas | THIMBY Building Materials & Construction Lead

B.A. Architecture, Minor in Sustainable Design

Upon coming to Berkeley, Karla witnessed the injustice that results from inefficient building designs. As a student in Architecture, she holds a moral obligation to design a better future. In her perfect world, all the buildings would be net-zero energy buildings, and although this goal is still far from reach, she hopes to contribute to this quickly developing movement of designing a sustainable and equitable society. She could not be more excited to join SHAC, as it is a stepping stone towards this goal! When she is not contemplating the future of our built environment, she enjoys playing soccer and taking her dog on long walks.

Sierra Kirkpatrick | Director of Internal Affairs, THIMBY Policy Lead, DeCal Director

B.A. Sustainable Environmental Design, B.S. Molecular Environmental Biology

Growing up in the Bay Area, Sierra has always been fascinated with the intersection between social issues and the built environment. Here at Cal, she has been able to find people who are just as passionate about the environment, human-centered design, and social activism as she is. Sierra’s main area of focus is on post-disaster redevelopment and resilient cities, an increasing important field of study in today’s world. And SHAC’s mission ties in well, as sustainable housing is a crucial part of how we will “build back better.”

Qingyi "Annie" Xuan | THIMBY Member

B.A. Architecture

A single style no longer bounds architects; Instead, they can create novel solutions to current social and environmental issues. Annie is looking forward to become an architect who is sensible, not only looking for efficiency but also understanding the purpose of the building and the “ambiance” it needs for the people who rely on it. Upon coming to Berkeley, Annie aspires to use her interest in architecture as a medium for continuing to challenge inequality and continuing to challenge her own perceptions of my community. Becoming a member in SHAC and THIMBY project, Annie hopes to equip herself with a strong foundation in architecture and create innovative building designs for society.

Victoria Ye | THIMBY Member

B.A. Urban Studies, B.A. Economics

Under the impact of globalization, constant moving experience with her family has allowed Victoria to see various forms of cities. At an early age, Victoria was exposed to all kinds of urban issues concerning air pollution, high crime rate, overcrowded and unaffordable housing, and racial injustice in both China and the US. With strong interests in building better cities and a passion for a more sustainable global future, she decided to study Urban Studies and Economics and dedicate her potentials and skills to make city planning and urban economic development more applicable and accessible to all populations and regions.

Grace Huang | THIMBY Member

B.S. Environmental Economics and Policy, B.A. Rhetoric, Minor in Public Policy

Coming from the rural suburbs of the woods of Connecticut, Grace is very new to cities and the issues of urban density. However, she is confident that public policy solutions involving renewable energy will lead to the clean and equitable future of housing. She hopes to work on issues at the intersection of environmental and housing policy. She likes bees and kazoos but nothing else that buzzes.

Emily Que | THIMBY Member

B.A. Architecture, Minor in Sustainable Design

Living in the Bay Area since she was little, Emily has witnessed the continuous rise of housing costs. The difficulties to continue to afford living in the Bay Area pushes sustainability out of the question for many homeowners. However, Emily believe this doesn’t have to be the case. She is fascinated by tiny homes and their ability to provide both an affordable and sustainable way of living that is often lost in these traditional 9AM-5PM jobs. She wants to make this option much more feasible for future generations to live both economically and sustainably conscious. She is incredibly excited to be part of such an amazing team that shares the same passion for sustainability and hope to make tiny homes a more convenient and affordable option for all.

Rapha Felipe| THIMBY Member

B.A. Architecture, Minors in City Planning and Sustainable Design

Growing up in metro Manila, Rapha was exposed on a daily basis to the social and environmental issues that stemmed from the city region’s poor urban planning, building designs, and economic policies. From the polluted rivers, dilapidated shanty neighborhoods, to the long hours spent in congested traffic, Rapha knew that she had an obligation as a future architect to work in sustainable design. It is through SHAC as a member of the THIMBY team that Rapha aims to start this journey even as a student by helping design affordable and sustainable living spaces for underprivileged people. In her free time, Rapha works as a freelance illustrator and does projects predominantly related to the environment, wildlife, and Filipino culture.

Augustina Ullman | Founder, President, THIMBY 3.0 Project Manager

B.A. Urban Studies

With the invaluable help of past THIMBY leads, Augustina launched THIMBY 3.0 to alleviate local impacts of the climate and housing affordability crises. As a lifelong California resident, she was inspired to advance housing justice after watching her community ravaged by worsening housing pressures. She has spent the last few years researching displacement across regional and global contexts, such as the impacts of transit-oriented development in Los Angeles and climate-induced migration in Burundi. When Augustina isn’t with the THIMBY and SHAC teams, she loves exploring with a camera in hand.

Shane Wright | THIMBY 2.0 Project Manager

B.S. Environmental Economics and Policy

Shane has a huge passion for creating sustainable systems and serving underrepresented communities. He is extremely excited about creating a cost-effective, scalable tiny house model that can be used as a remedy for both the housing and environmental crises. Shane quite literally lives, breaths, and sleeps (in) tiny houses. He and his girlfriend live in a tiny house they built out of a U-Haul truck. When Shane isn’t building or working, he is usually driving his tiny house up the coast looking for waves.

Abigail Kirk | THIMBY 2.0 Project Manager

B.S. Environmental Economics and Policy

Abigail, standing at 5’3″, truly understands that great things come in small packages. In her free time, she loves to kayak, backpack, run — anything that gets her adrenaline flowing. But spending time outdoors constantly reminds her that having a home to come back to should not be a luxury; it is a basic human right. She is passionate about the environment and her community. This project helped facilitate the combination of desire to make effective change and interest in sustainable development.

Sean Farkas | THIMBY 2.0 Director of Marketing & Media

B.A. Media Studies, Minor in Sustainable Design

Sean studied media and marketing to foster his growth in the digitized industry of marketing and content branding. With strong skills already acquired from his work with a large-scale agency based out of Los Angeles, Sean was equipped with the necessary tools to drive THIMBY forward with a powerful social presence. When Sean isn’t studying or working, you can catch him surfing, skating, backpacking, camping, climbing, and snowboarding — sometimes all at once.

Jeshua John | THIMBY 2.0 Director of Finance & Social Impact

B.S. Business Administration, Minor in Global Poverty & Practice

Jeshua studied at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business and the Blum Center for Developing Economies. He cares deeply about human rights, poverty alleviation, and corporate social responsibility. For the THIMBY project, Jeshua will be working at the intersection of finance and social impact. He loves to travel or play beach volleyball.

Lucas Gomes | THIMBY 2.0 Director of Communications

B.S. Environmental Sciences

Lucas was the acting Point of Contact for the THIMBY 2.0 project, excited to start applying his education to fostering positive changes within the local — and eventually global — communities. His role within the project was to establish consistent and effective communications between the THIMBY team and the City of Richmond in order to ensure that the project is well-aligned with everybody’s goals.

Mauricio Zamora | THIMBY 2.0 Director of Construction

M.A. Architecture

Mauricio was an M. Arch student at UC Berkeley who has always been interested in tiny homes as a solution for secure housing and financial freedom. He knows first-hands, that it is crucial for smaller space to be multi-functional in order to accommodate the people living there as well as maximizing the potential of the space. He believes that THIMBY 2.0 will have a positive impact on the community it is serving. In his spare time, you will find Mauricio playing basketball, cooking, making music, and everything in between. 

Nadine Aderhold | THIMBY 2.0 Marketing Team Member

B.A. Architecture

Having grown up in Silicon Valley and experienced pervasive gentrification and homelessness in the Bay Area, Nadine is passionate about exploring effective solutions that alleviate the crippling housing crisis we currently face. She was particularly excited THIMBY 2.0’s ability to demonstrate the power of tiny homes to provide an environmentally-conscious, scalable, and impactful alternative to traditional housing. If you wondered who the person behind the social media and blog posts was… surprise, it’s Nadine! When she has free time, you can usually find her traveling the world, checking out new places to eat around the Bay , or having a great time at concerts.

Ian Bolliger | THIMBY 1.0 Project Manager

B.S. M.S./Ph.D Energy & Resources

Ian’s work has involved applying mathematical modeling techniques to a variety of contexts, from interior convection in Venus, to injury prevalence, to sacrifice bunting, to college baseball games. A graduate of Harvard University with a B.A. in Applied Mathematics and a focus in geophysics, he spent three years modeling health burden at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation before coming to UC Berkeley. He is excited to have a hand in all aspects of the THIMBY 1.0 project and is particularly enthusiastic about implementing the results of energy modeling and design into real, physical systems.

Oriya Cohen | THIMBY 1.0 Media Coordinator

B.A. Environmental Design

As a former environmental design student, Oriya is interested in the intersection of sustainable design and economic empowerment in the urban setting. In the context of this project, he is specifically interested in the potential scalibility of tiny house communities as a sustainable solution for low-income housing. 

AJ Glassman | THIMBY 1.0 Videographer

B.A. Urban Studies

AJ is a third-year undergraduate at UC Berkeley. His past work in videography and digital media has involved nonfiction work with local community organizations including local access cable. AJ is excited to combine his skillset in video production with his passion for learning new things and working with his hands. As an Urban Studies, he is interested in the impact that tiny houses and tiny living have as alternatives to current land use patterns and as potential opportunity for infill development. 

Kenny Gotlieb | THIMBY 1.0 Sponsorships Director

Ph.D Applied Science and Technology

During his time on the THIMBY project, Kenny’s research focused on electronic properties of exotic new materials. He has experience with electronic circuitry and recently built a boat in his backyard.

Caroline Karmann | THIMBY 1.0 Design Director

Ph.D Architecture and Building Science

During her time on the THIMBY project, Caroline’s research focused on indoor environmental quality for buildings using radiant systems. Before returning to graduate school, she worked for four years at Transsolar Energietechnik where she specialized in daylight simulation and energy analysis. In the context of the THIMBY project, Caroline is specifically interested in the design of indoor spaces and of the envelope.

Laney Siegner | THIMBY 1.0 Agriculture Lead

M.A. Energy and Resources Group

Laney studied green urban design principles as an undergraduate at Tufts University. She helped design a water storage system for an Engineers Without Borders project, and is an avid urban gardener interested in the use of plants and plant waste materials for energy provision.

Sara Tepfer | THIMBY 1.0 Member

M.A. Architecture, M.S. Building Science

As Sara’s interests include passive heating and cooling design and evaluation, energy efficiency, energy modeling tools for early design phases, and materials hazard assessment. During the THIMBY project, her research focused on the intersection between architecture, public health, and chemistry, analyzing tools and metrics for characterizing hazards in building materials.

Emily Woods | THIMBY 1.0 Water & Waste Lead

M.S./Ph.D Energy and Resources Group

A graduate of Georgia Tech with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering. A selection of her work includes drilling water wells in Central America, designing solar systems for Yellowstone National Park, and water distribution systems in Cameroon. She began her work in fecal sludge as a research engineer for Georgia Tech Research and created her own start-up company, Sanivation, to focus on solar treatment of human waste and conversion to charcoal in Kenya. She plans on using her time at ERG to research further development of feces to energy. 

Imran Sheikh | THIMBY 1.0 HVAC Lead

M.S./Ph.D Energy and Resources Group

Imran has almost ten years of experience working in the energy efficiency space at the Rocky Mountain Institute, Johnson Controls, and Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. This work has spanned residential energy efficiency, commercial building control systems, redesign of large industrial facilities, and engineering education for radical resources efficiency.

Sauming Seto | THIMBY 1.0 Logistics Director

M.B.A. Haas School of Business

Sauming’s professional experience in consulting and project management has spanned a number of clients in the Fortune 500. As a graduate of the University of Illinois with a B.S. in Finance and a B.S. in Accountancy, she is interested in design and sustainability initiatives and participates in Sustainability and Smart Building service business development through her current experience in management consulting. In THIMBY, Sauming was excited to learn more about design, materials, the building process, and the scalability of the project for impacts on the social space.

Sabrina Werts | THIMBY 1.0 Communications Director

B.A. English, Public Health

Sabrina studied English, Public Health, and Public Policy. She is particularly interested in the intersection of urban planning and public health, and is excited to be part of a team dedicated to contributing to the conversation about housing’s role in creating healthy, sustainable communities.

Brett Webster | THIMBY 1.0 Construction Manager, Structural Lead

M.P.P. Goldman School of Public Policy

Brett’s focus is on energy and environmental policy, with specific interests in energy storage, building efficiency, and climate policy. Before coming to Berkeley, Brett spent nine years teaching for the National Outdoor Leadership School, leading expeditions to remote, glaciated mountain ranges in Alaska and Chilean Patagonia. Between seasons, he worked as a carpenter and developed an interested in sustainable, efficient practices and design.

Brooke Maushund | THIMBY 1.0 Electrical Integration Engineer

B.S. Energy Systems, Conservation Resource Studies

After doing various other research on campus and spending time working on renewable energy projects in rural Nicaragua, she conducted research on decentralized renewables with the Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory and Power For All, led California Renewable and Adaptable Energy’s research groups on micro-grids in developing settings, worked as the Solar Energy Plan Developer for the City of Berkeley, served as Co-President of BERC Undergrad, and was the President of Cal Ski Team. Her love of renewable energy systems and preserving the climate make her extremely excited to work on THIMBY’s electrical system — not to mention it’s every skier’s dream to get up close and personal with tiny house! On weekends, she can be found surfing or climbing around the Bay.

Nancy Stetson | THIMBY 1.0 Financial Director

M.P.P Goldman School of Public Policy

Nancy had recently completed a report for the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Office of Oregon examining the feasibility of tiny home villages as a cost-effective way to house the homeless before coming to Cal. She is interested in the policy implications of tiny homes as affordable housing and the possibility of scaling up THIMBY’s tiny home model.

Gawain Kessner | THIMBY 1.0 Construction Safety Officer

B.S. Conservation and Resource Studies

Gawain’s honors work in the College of Natural Resources on heat transfer and 25 years as a Licensed General Contractor merged naturally with the inspiration of the THIMBY project. Born and raised in Berkeley with environmental action in his DNA, Gawain was inspired by THIMBY’s goals of improving human impacts on the planet and as a living lab, demonstrating the potential of conservation and pollution reduction to improve the livability of our communities.

Kit Elsworth | THIMBY 1.0 Design Director

M.S. Building Science

During his time in THIMBY, Kit’s research focused on studying indoor environmental quality of buildings and methods of producing desirable indoor environments in an energy and resource efficient manner. In addition, Kit has researched the design and performance of passive cooling techniques and is interested in existing building commissioning. Before returning to graduate school, Kit worked as a sustainability consultant, providing design phase consulting for architectural design teams.


Chris Detjen | THIMBY 1.0 Member

M.A. Architecture

Chris is interested in designing beautiful, functional structures that make the most of natural sources of light and heat. Previously, Chris worked in the energy efficiency sector, where he built demonstration programs that showcase the capabilities of efficient lighting and lighting control technologies. At Berkeley, he worked with light (both natural and artificial) as a means of improving energy performance and aesthetic experience in buildings.

Roopika Subramanian | THIMBY 1.0 Grant Coordinator

J.D. School of Law

Roopika’s interests include healthy community planning, sustainable resource management, environmental justice, and energy law. Her work in California policy has spanned a variety of issues, including stormwater, climate adaptation, and energy efficiency. 

Zach Gima | THIMBY 1.0 Engineering Director

M.S./Ph.D Mechanical Engineering

Zach’s research involves advanced manufacturing for energy, specifically printable batteries. He has experience building structures and rainwater catchment systems as a previous project manager for Engineers Without Borders.

David Rothblum | THIMBY 1.0 Financial Director

B.S. Civil Engineering, Environmental Engineering

David’s prior work has given him experience with construction project management and electrical systems. In addition to his major, David studied energy engineering and public policy. He is excited about creating environmentally sustainable buildings and the potential scalability of the tiny house model to confront challenges of affordable housing.

The following is an incomplete list of our former members. If you believe you were mistakenly left out, please let us know!

SHAC is an interdisciplinary group of undergraduate and graduate students at UC Berkeley with a shared passion for sustainability in the built environment.

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